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Engineering Research Starter

Writing Help

Engineers have a very specific writing style. The resources below can help you with your technical writing.

The Doane Writing Center has peer consultants who can also help with your writing!

Citing Sources - ASME Style

When completing research in the Doane Engineering program, you will be expected to cite your sources using the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) citation style. Proper use of ASME requires in-text citation and a list of references at the end of your project. More details and examples how to cite of specific types of resources can be found on the ASME website.

In-Text Citation. Within the text, references should be cited numerically in the order of their appearance. The numbered citation should be enclosed in [brackets.]


According to Agrawal and Platzer [1], solar sails may be used as a novel way to propel spacecraft.

In the case of two citations within one sentence, the numbers should be separated by a comma [1,2]. In the case of more than two reference citations, the numbers should be separated by a dash [5-7].

List of References. References to original sources for cited material should be listed numerically together at the end of the paper in order of their appearance in the text.



[1] Agrawal, B. N., and Platzer, M. F., 2017, Standard Handbook for Aerospace Engineers, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill Education, New York, NY.

[2] Yuan, J., Gao, C., and Zhang, J., 2018, “Periodic Orbits of Solar Sail Equipped with Reflectance Control Device in Earth–Moon System,” Astrophysics and Space Science
363(2), p. 23.

Additional examples and information can be found in this ASME guide from the University of Missouri.

Book or chapter in a book

[Citation number] Author(s), year, Title of Book, Publisher, Location.

For chapters in a book, add chapter number at the end of the citation following the abbreviation, “Chap.”


[1] Saxby, G., 1996, Practical Holography, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, New York, NY, Chap. 6.

Journal article

[Citation Number] Author(s), year, "Article Title," Journal Title, vol. no. (issue no.), pp.


[2] Dahl, G. and Suttrop, F., 1998, “Engine Control and Low-NOx Combustion for Hydrogen Fuelled Aircraft Gas Turbines,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 23(8), pp. 695-704.   

Web Page

[citation number] Author(s), year, “Title of Web Page.” Report Number (if applicable), from url.


[3] McBride, B.J. and Gordon, S., 1996, “Computer Program for Calculation of  Complex Chemical Equilibrium Compositions and Applications – II. Users Manual and Program Description,” NASA Ref Publ. No. 1311, from

[4] Danish Wind Energy Association, n.d., from

Conference Proceedings

[Citation number] Author(s), year, “Article Title,” Proceedings of the Name of Conference, date(s) of conference, identification number (if given), pp.


[5] Wions, T. T., and Mills, C. D., 2006, “Structural Dynamics in Parallel Manipulation,” Proceedings of the IDETC/CIE, New Orleans, LA, September 10-13, 2005, ASME Paper No. DETC2005-99532, pp. 777-798.

Technical Report

[Citation number] Author(s), year, “Report Title,” Report Number (if any) Publisher, Location.


[6] Leverant, G.R., 2000, “Turbine Rotor Material Design – Final Report,” DOT/FAA/AR-00/64, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C.


[Citation number] Inventor(s), year, “Patent Name/Title.” Country where patent is registered, Patent number.


[7] Seippel, C., 1949, “Gas Turbine Installation,” U.S. Patent 2461186.


[Citation number] Standard Issuing Body, year, “Standard Name,” Number.


[1] IEEE, 1992, “Scalable Coherent Interface,” IEEE Std. 1596-1992.


Citation Helpers

Zotero Bib is a tool that will automatically build a citation for you based on an article title, DOI, chapter title, URL, etc. ASME is included as a style you can select. Remember, when you are using a citation builder you should always double check the format of the citation before including it in the final version of your paper - they may be machines but they are not always perfect!‚Äč

Need something more robust to manage a lot of citations? Many science faculty members at Doane encourage their students to use a reference manager like Zotero or Mendeley. Check out our comprehensive guide to these two tools for more information. Here is a quick overview:





Best for:

  • creating reference lists and in-text citations
  • integrates better with library systems, especially for saving multiple records at one time

Not so good for:

  • saving PDFs (the free version only allows 300MB of storage)


Best for:

  • saving PDF files of articles (the free version provides 2GB of storage)
  • highlighting and annotating PDF document
  • searching millions of resources added by other users

Not so good for:

  • citing web pages (can be hit or miss)
  • saving multiple records at one time (it can't do this)
  • creating private groups (free version limited to one group with three members)